Patrick Calvo withdraws lawsuit vs DOC official

Convicted child molester Patrick M. Calvo has withdrawn his petition filed in federal court that challenged his alleged unlawful imprisonment at the Department of Corrections.

Calvo, through counsel Bruce Berline, filed a notice last Friday notifying the U.S. District Court for the NMI of his voluntary dismissal, without prejudice, of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Dismissal without prejudice means Calvo may re-file the petition in the future.

Habeas corpus refers to a court order to a prison warden or an institution holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court.

Berline did not indicate the reason for dropping his client’s petition.

Last Jan. 19, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued a show-cause order directing Calvo to explain why his petition should not be dismissed for lack of prosecution.

Manglona gave Calvo until last Friday to file his response.

Calvo filed the petition in court on April 6, 2016. He was required to serve summons on Department of Corrections official Georgia M. Cabrera within 90 days of filing the petition.

To date, the judge noted, Calvo has not requested a summons be issued or served Cabrera, who, at the time, was the acting commissioner.

In September 2009, a Superior Court jury found Calvo guilty of sexually abusing a then-13-year-old girl in 2008.

On May 27, 2010, Naraja sentenced Calvo to eight years in prison. Calvo appealed, asking the CNMI Supreme Court to reverse his conviction and set a new trial.

In July 2014, the high court upheld Calvo’s conviction. The justices, however, ordered the Superior Court to redo the sentencing because it imposed probation, restitution, and community service without suspending some of Calvo’s prison term.

At the resentencing hearing in September 2016, Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja slapped Calvo with a seven-year prison term.

Calvo’s jail term is considered commenced as of May 25, 2010. His release date from DOC Corrections was May 25, 2017. After completing the prison term, Calvo was placed on probation for seven years.

In Calvo’s petition for habeas corpus, Berline argued, among other things, that the Commonwealth’s integration into the U.S. political and judicial system establishes that the Sixth Amendment jury trial right is a fundamental constitutional right.

Berline said that denying Calvo of this right was contrary to or unreasonable application of the Sixth Amendment jurisprudence.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at

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